Contact with Patients

Patients coming to the Burn Treatment Center may not be aware of their environment because of their illness or sedation. Some patients cannot speak because they have a tube in their throat to assist their breathing. This tube will be removed when the patient is able to breathe without support. Patient care in the Burn Treatment Center is often extremely intense and requires contact with the patient many times a day. Some patients may require less observation during their stay depending upon their illness.

A burn or trauma injury is a frightening and potentially life-changing event for patients and families. Burned patients and their families often experience feelings of loss or considerable change in their lives. It is understandable that patients and families may face many difficult emotions including depression, anger, frustration, fear, and anxiety. Each person will cope with the stress of the injury and hospitalization in his or her own way. Dealing with stressors is an important part of accepting the injury and recovering from it.

Burn patients must often cope with changes in their body appearance and body function. Family members or friends can assist patients by encouraging them to discuss their feelings and worries. Patients need to be reassured that they can bring up feelings or concerns that are difficult or hard to discuss.

Patient condition reports are given only to immediate family members. Families may consider posting patient updates on websites or blogs so friends and family can have access to the most current information about the patient. Friends and family also can leave electronic messages of care and support for the patient and family.

CarePages is a service available through University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics for sharing pediatric and adult patients’ condition information.

In addition, friends and family members can e-mail a patient through Volunteer Services.